How To Hire For The Holidays With The On-Demand Workforce

While the National Retail Federation projects less temporary workers this holiday season than last, the number will still reach upwards of 500,000 people. Major retailers such as Amazon, Macy’s, and Target plan to hire between 80,000 and 120,000 workers alone. And with their prediction that holiday sales will increase 4% over last year, it’s evident there is a huge need for more to help fill the gap.

However, the U.S. unemployment rate is at the lowest it’s been in over 16 years, hitting 4.2% in September, making the competition for workers higher than ever. 

To combat this problem, they are using many different strategies including incentivizing candidates with higher wages and easing the hiring process with less screening policies. While these will likely help retailers fill in some of the gaps, there is an untapped workforce with millions of hungry candidates looking for jobs.

Here are three reasons why on-demand workers are the perfect fit to help fill your holiday season work needs.

They don’t want or expect a full-time job. On-demand workers are looking for shifts, not jobs. Many of the seasonal workers you’ll see in stores and warehouses this winter already have a primary “occupation.” They’re students, moms, part-time workers…but want to pick up shifts that fit into their schedule. Many of them are looking to work additional hours to help bring in extra income this holiday season. Participating in the gig economy during the holidays offers them a short-term commitment to fill not only your need but their needs as well.

They reduce the burden of hiring. The traditional way of looking for workers – a sign in the window or a press release – isn’t how you’ll find on-demand labor. They are connecting in sophisticated ways with their employers of choice, often using technology platforms, like Shiftgig, to match them to available shifts. The good news for retailers is that these workers are pre-vetted, skills-assessed and background-checked, taking the burden off your already busy HR team.

They are ready to get the job done. Workers that are shift-based tend to have an easier time assimilating into a day’s work than a typical temporary worker who holds the same 40-hours-a-week job for weeks or months at a time. They are customer service driven, task-oriented, and understand the importance of being a productive part of a team. Because they’ve worked for many different companies, they come armed with a breadth of experience and aren’t intimidated by something new or different.

By including on-demand talent in your holiday strategy, you are sure to meet hiring demands more quickly and efficiently.


Want to learn more on how the on-demand workforce can help fill your holiday staffing needs? Download our Beginner’s Guide to Holiday Staffing.

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About The Author

Jane Smith is the Community Relations Manager at Shiftgig. She is passionate about helping Shiftgig Specialists and helping transform the way people work. In her free time, Jane loves cooking, exploring Chicago, and spending time with family.